A meeting with Tabuelan Rural Health Unit Staff on the ReachHealth teleconsultation program was conducted on January 14, 2021 at the Rural Health Unit of Tabuelan.
There were nine staff members of the Rural Health Unit of Tabuelan who joined the meeting. They included Public Health Nurse Gerra Lahaylahay, nurses of the Nurses Deployment Program and midwives.
The ReachHealth Project had established a teleconsultation program with Cebu Provincial Hospital – Bogo City and Tabuelan Rural Health Unit. Patients who cannot personally go to the rural health units of their municipalities can use their cell phones in order to contact medical personnel in the two health facilities and avail of medical consultation and health services by digital technology.
The program aims to link the teleconsultation program with the rural health units of Tabuelan, Medellin, San Remigio and the city health office of Bogo City in order to have their staff disseminate such program to their barangay health stations and residents.
The meeting with the Tabuelan RHU staff discussed about the teleconsultation program of the ReachHealth Project implemented with it. Ms. Lahaylahay said that it started last January 6, 2021 and since then, there had been three patients who availed of it.
Services offered are prenatal check-up, family planning, immunization, tuberculosis, and mental health check-up. Patients are asked to send information details including name, age, gender, address, services needed to cell phone numbers and through the facebook page.
The center was given by the ReachHealth project two cell phones, one laptop and one wifi modem as well as load for the phones. Mr. Darius Bondoc and Ms. Lahayhahay are the overall persons in charge of the program while the nurses take turns in answering the calls. The schedule is Wednesdays to Fridays, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Information had been disseminated to the public through the facebook page and through leaflets distributed in the barangays. The patients can also call in for medical problems aside from the general public health programs. The nurses take the history of the problem then if they can manage it, they do so. Otherwise, they refer the problem to their consultant, Dr. Jose Rodriguez, who in turn prescribes the medicines and tells the nurse to give the proper medical instructions. Pediatric cases that can be handled by the midwives and nurses using the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI) are managed.
Another advantage of the teleconsultation is that patients get to know the schedules of the services offered so that when they go to the RHU, they are being attended to on the scheduled day. Otherwise, going to the RHU on days wherein the services are not scheduled would be waste of money and time for the patients.
However, a disadvantage of the teleconsultation is that it does not allow the patients to be properly examined by the nurses or the doctor. Furthermore, patients who have no internet access in their barangays cannot avail of it either.
Nevertheless, the RHU staff look forward to having patients avail of the teleconsultation services.